#GivingTuesday : Featuring Tyson The Brave Little Dog

Tyson is a brave little dog. Once, Tyson and I were enjoying a leisurely walk when our peace was interrupted by the bellowing bark of a dog on a porch. The dog reared up from his comfortable position and lunged toward us. His bark was loud and angry as it echoed around us like the mighty cry of a wild beast. Luckily, the dog was prevented from his rapid approach toward us by the tug of the leash and the disapproval of his person. In a chiding tone, the dog’s person said “Oh, that’s enough. That is the smallest little dog I’ve ever seen!” This person obviously hasn’t seen some of the true itty-bitties we have at Emerald City Pet Rescue, but at around 8 pounds, Tyson certainly is diminutive, but in size only.

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It wasn’t immediately after the large dog’s imposing barks that Tyson’s bravery shone through. He was startled and frightened by the dog’s angry reaction toward his passing. Tyson did a frantic (and a bit silly) jump to get away. We rushed past the house, and onward on our walk. But on our way back past the house, Tyson didn’t cower. He didn’t nervously shy away or slink past the dog, who was still lounging on the porch, now eyeing us suspiciously. Tyson bravely marched past the house and the dog with his head held high and proud. This is Tyson’s bravery. He gets scared and shy and anxious, but he steels himself and tries to bravely overcome whatever may ail his nerves.

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I’ve been fostering Tyson for five months. Yes, it is truly unbelievable that a dog with a face this adorable still hasn’t found his forever home!

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But all five months have been a true pleasure because Tyson is one amazing little dog. He is sweet, gentle, mellow, curious, quirky and endearingly stubborn. But his bravery is his trait I admire the most.

When Tyson first arrived at my house, he was shy and tentative about everything. When we went on walks, his tail was low, not quite between his legs but almost. He was afraid and intimidated by the world around him. I still remember the excitement I felt when I noticed one day on our walk that his tail was high in the air like a proud little flag. When I first met Tyson, he was easily overwhelmed by the chaotic stimuli of city living: Rumbling cars zooming by, People shuffling down the sidewalk, not quite paying attention to their surroundings, other dogs with alert ears and wide eyes tugging at their leashes to meet him. But now, he has conquered much of his unease about these situations. Just the other day, we were walking past a parked car when the person opened up the door to get out. Tyson stopped, firmly planted his paws (in that stubborn way he does!), stretched his face and wiggling nose toward the person and watched them. He was curious. He wanted to investigate this stranger. The stranger said sweetly, “Why aren’t you a brave little dog!” He certainly is. Somewhere along the way, his curiosity over powered his shyness. This is not to say Tyson isn’t still a shy dog. But he is shy and brave and curious all at the same time.

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It isn’t just with shyness where Tyson has triumphed in bravery. Tyson overcame medical issues that would frighten the strongest and mightiest of dog or human. When Tyson first became an Emerald City Pet Rescue dog, he went to the vet to get a dental. Halfway through his dental, his heart stopped. He had a bad reaction to the anesthesia! Luckily the doctors worked expertly to resuscitate him and Tyson survived this harrowing ordeal. But because of the negative reaction to the anesthesia, Tyson’s dental was not completed. After this incident, the vets decided Tyson should avoid getting anesthesia. Some dogs don’t react well to anesthesia and we didn’t want Tyson to be put at risk for another bad reaction. But this meant Tyosn’s dental could not be completed. Dentals mean different things for different dogs. Some dogs just need their teeth cleaned and the plaque removed. Others have actual dental disease and require tooth extractions. Tyson unfortunately had dental disease. So for a while, Tyson lived with his dental disease. This means that Tyson had to live with the pain of tooth aches, but this was a better alternative then Tyson’s heart stopping again. That is, until his dental disease worsened.

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It happened on a lazy evening Tyson and I were spending together. Tyson was taking the laziness part of the evening even more seriously than our normal lazy time spent together. But he didn’t seem relaxed, he seemed not himself and lethargic. After looking over, I noticed that under his jaw was swollen. A swollen jaw is not a good sign. We rushed off to the emergency vet since it was after hours of the normal vet. In the proceeding days, Tyson’s life became a whirlwind of vet visits, medicines and x rays, all of which confirmed that something needed to be done about his dental disease. Untreated dental disease can cause to serious outcomes such as an abscessed tooth or infected blood stream. Tyson was scheduled to go to a dental specialist to get the tooth extractions he needed. It was an extremely scary day for the rescue as we waited on pins and needles during Tyson’s procedure. There was a surge of relief everywhere when we got the call that his surgery was a success! Hooray for Tyson!

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That was three weeks ago today and he has been doing an amazing since then. Tyson may not have understood the implications of his first dental where his heart stopped. He may not have known the risks of surgery and the even bigger risks of not getting surgery. But he knew what it meant to feel pain. He knew what it was to be scared at the vet’s office surrounded frightening smells and imposing figures. Tyson handled all of this with the bravery of a little knight.

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The thing about dental disease is it isn’t just about teeth. It is about how the pain of the teeth effects his day to day life. It is about the bacteria coursing through his blood, causing his body to constantly fight against infection. Good dental hygiene means overall good health. The doctor told me Tyson’s personality might change after he heals from his dental work. I’ve already noticed slight changes. He has more of a playful spark to his personality. He’s got a frolic to his steps when he goes on walks. Best of all, Mr. Finicky Eater is actually perking up at the prospect of food (Before he would only perk up at the prospect of chicken, his favorite!) He use to never be interested in the human food I would be eating, but just the other day I was eating jelly beans of all things, and he was absolutely focused on the jelly beans. He came and sat next to me on the couch and put his right paw on my leg. He looked up at me with big imploring eyes and watched as I grabbed the candy from the bag and ate one after the other. Who knew this little guy had a sweet tooth? Or rather, three sweet teeth. After his surgery, he only has three teeth left. Two bottom canines and one upper caning. Tyson has always had a bit of a snaggle tooth that likes to peak out the side of his mouth, but since the removal of the tooth above his snaggle tooth, the snaggle has become more pronounced. This little snaggle a rather lot of cute charm to an already adorable face.

Tyson has shown other slight personality changes. His stubbornness has increased. He is more confident in demanding we linger longer at an interesting smell during his walks. He is stauncher in his refusal to walk on rainy days. I love this stubbornness. To me it is a sign of his increased confidence. He has confidence in asking for what he wants, holding his ground and being persistent.

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One personality trait that has stayed consistent is his bravery. He overcame something grand and scary- a brush with death. He overcame pain. He overcame fear of his surroundings and shyness as his main mode of interacting with the world. The next challenge his bravery will propel him to overcome is finding his forever home. He is such a sweet and loving dog. A dog so ready to add joy to someone’s life. A dog ready to find his best person friend. There has been so much Tyson has gone through and not just his dental or his shyness, but finding himself at a rescue up for adoption at all. He has his own mysterious past that has led him here. There is a lot to Tyson’s story we will never know, but the most important part of Tyson’s story is ahead of him. The part where he finds his forever home! And now, after his successful battle against dental disease, after his confidence navigating the chaos of the world, he is ready!

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If you want to learn more about Tyson, read his profile here: https://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/35059006

Tyson’s pre-adoption adventures are also being recorded in his instagram @tyson_the_little_dog. Whoever adopts Tyson will also be given his instagram so they can continue recording his journey post adoption if they want to.

DailyECPR: Sweetie Pie, Friend to All

Everyone who meets Sweetie Pie immediately adores this amazing lil’ gal. I remember the first time I met her. I walked into work, and there she was with a giant grin on her face. Sweetie Pie has one of the most amazing dog smiles in all the world. Take a look at this girl’s pearly whites:

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Oh Sweetie Pie! It is impossible to resist her charms. It is not just her smile, it is her personality. Everything about her is so admirable and awe-inspiring. She is resilient, strong and loving. She came to ECPR with scars as indicators of past traumas. But whatever she may have experienced, it did not damper her true sweet spirit and the love in her heart. Despite any adversities she has faced, she takes pleasure in the beauties of life like getting cuddles from a friend, playing or finding interesting things to smell.

Playing fetch is Sweetie Pie’s all-time favorite activity.  When she sees a toy in a hand, all of her attention is on that toy. She is on the edge of her seat, anticipating when that hand will lift and that toy will go soaring through the air for her to bound after! When it comes to toys, you have to be a little careful with Sweetie Pie. Her enthusiasm for toys sometimes leads to the destruction of said toy. She merrily chews on the toy until it is little more than broken scraps. We’ve learned our lesson and now only give her the most indestructible of toys.

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Sweetie Pie has been raved about on this blog before, but she is a dog that deserves multiple proclamations of her greatness. The entire ECPR staff views Sweetie Pie as one of our close friends. Sweetie Pie has taught us to be braver and kinder. You can just see in her sweet face that she is full of the perfect combination of doggy wisdom and doggy joy.

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The day is brighter when Sweetie Pie is around. Not only is it brighter, but sometimes the day is filled with rainbows when Sweetie Pie is around.

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Yesterday, during the off-and-on rain downpours, I took my pal Sweetie Pie outside. Low and behold, there was a beautiful rainbow arched across the sky. Sweetie Pie is definitely the type of dog that rainbows would appear in the sky for, so I wasn’t too surprised at the rainbow sighting, but I definitely was excited! Sweetie Pie and I marveled at the rainbow together.

But, it started to rain again so Sweetie Pie and I went back to the cozier haven of the indoors. I gave her some chin scratches and we had a good laugh together.

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There is really no better way to spend a day then with a pal as wonderful as Sweetie Pie! I am sure that if I continue spending time with Sweetie Pie, there will be many more rainbows and smiles in my future!

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DailyECPR: Humphrey Takes a Bath

The indignity of having to take a bath! You can tell by Humphrey’s expression that he was not impressed that he was forced to take a bath.

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The suds, the warm water, the feeling of cleanliness after the bath is complete…. Humphrey is not so sure about all of this. But little Humphrey has no teeth, and one of the consequences of consuming a meal without teeth is a mess! Humphrey and his little friend Piggles both eat wet food meals since their lack of teeth makes consuming dry food rather difficult. When I return to their kennel after they eat their meals….oh my!…the messes they make. They almost seem a little proud of their tiny mess. Maybe it makes them feel connected to their wild heritage.

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Cleaning up a small mess for these two sweeties is well worth it though. They are old and lovely and good-hearted and they deserve to fully enjoy their eating experience. But sometimes these messy eaters need a good old fashioned bath after they eat.

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Whenever I give one of our dogs a bath, they always seem rather alarmed as I gently lift them up and put them in the bath tub. Their expression says, “Oh, no! What is about to happen?” then it changes to “Hey now person friend, I remember what this is all about. Can’t you just accept that that I enjoy a little dirt in my coat?” During their baths, the dogs display varying degrees of protest to the situations. Some of them sit calmly with a slightly gloomy expression on their face. Others try to make a dash for it by slyly inching toward the side of the tub till their little paws are resting on the edge of the tub with their eyes scanning for an escape route. None of the dogs ever seem to upset or scared once the bath starts. Mainly, they would rather be doing something else, like taking a walk or playing with their buddies in the playroom.

However, after the bath, I can always sense a change in their mood. They always seem really appreciative of the bath and are extra affectionate with me. Sometimes I think they view it as a bonding experience, like we conquered that horrid bath together! I think the dogs also feel refreshed and invigorated after a bath. They can move about with an extra skip to their step. They feel footloose and fancy-free! Maybe too, they can sense that their natural canine beauty is even further illuminated with their clean, glossy coat. So even though those baths may seem like an awful experience at first, the dogs always end them feeling happy and clean!

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DailyECPR: Amazing Mazie and Magnificent Madonna Visit with Their Foster Moms

There are a lot of people at Emerald City Pet Rescue who work passionately for the sake of our beautiful, wonderful animals. These people are not just the staff and volunteers, but also our amazing foster families. There are so many reasons we are grateful for our foster families. One very important thing our foster families do is provide homes for animals who for whatever reason, take a little longer to find their forever home. It can be discouraging for an animal to watch all their friends find homes while they remain. Even though ECPR animals get lots of love and cuddles from staff and volunteers, it is just not the same as having people to call your own. Curling up on the couch next to a person friend, the joy of undivided cuddles and frolicking in the freedom of a home environment all add to the quality of an animal’s life. Fosters provide these opportunities for our animals.

Foster families also teach us important information about our animals that we may not otherwise find out. We all know how our animals act at the rescue, but sometimes different parts of their personality come out in the home environment. Maybe Fluff-Fluff acts aggressive when strangers come to visit, or Little Strawberry is scared of the doorbell, or maybe Albert makes a squeaky sound when he needs to use the bathroom. All this information is very helpful to Emerald City Pet Rescue. This way, adopters learn these things about their pets before they go home. We also learn more about how to choose the right home for the animals. In the case of Fluff-Fluff, we know he would thrive in an environment where his people are more of the homebody types who don’t have a lot of visitors over. For Little Strawberry, we can work with the adopters on a plan to help her get over her fear of strange noises. And Albert will be a much easier dog to potty train with his idiosyncratic squeaking. Although Fluff-Fluff, Little Strawberry and Albert are made up examples, it is true that fosters are constantly providing us with an array of useful information about our animals. The more we know about our animals, the better we can set them up to succeed and thrive for the rest of their life.

Another important thing that fosters do for ECPR is empty a kennel for another dog in need. With limited space, we can only take so many animals into our facility. Even if we want to take all the needy animals in the world into our facility, we physically cannot, especially since it is so important to us to provide quality care to each ECPR animal. But with a space being opened by a foster’s generosity, we can take in at least one more animal in need.

On Saturday, two of our dogs living with foster families came for a visit! Usually the dogs who get fostered are dogs that have had a more difficult time finding a home. This means that they have spent more time at ECPR then the average dog which means the staff had more time to grow attached to the animal. So of course, staff was very excited to see our two visitors!

First our pal Mazie came for a visit. This sweet little lady is an older gal who adores good friends and cuddles. Little Mazie is quite endearing. She is a stout pooch who has a delightful waddle to her walk. Her flowy white fur is thinning and her skin is covered with a galaxy of age sots. Her signs of aging only serve to make her all the more beautiful. She has a unique beauty which is enhanced by her cute personality. Mazie is confident and doesn’t put up with nonsense. When she finds a person she likes, she doesn’t let anything get in her way of being near her person. She is very loyal and loving. As you can see by the photo, Mazie also has a winning smile. What is not visible in this picture is Mazie’s pretty cloth flower. Mazie always wears a cloth flower on her collar. The flower obviously represents her heart, which is as lovely as a flower.

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Our second foster visitor was Madonna! This scruffy girl is about as cute as they come. Her scruffy yet elegant appearance could easily inspire a children’s book series about a spunky pooch going on adventures. But like most living creatures, Madonna’s personality is complicated. She is sweet, loving and kind, but she also has fears and anxieties that sometimes influence her actions.  Her foster mom is very tuned into what Madonna needs and is providing a wonderful environment for Madonna. Madonna is getting an opportunity to grow and overcome many of her fears.  It made me so happy to see her on Saturday and to see how much she loved her foster mom. After seeing Madonna with her foster mom, I know Madonna will succeed in her home when she finds her forever family. It may take longer for her to warm up, but when she does, she will be the best friend a person can imagine.

All the animals I have met at Emerald City Pet Rescue are so wonderful. They all have good and loving hearts. They want love, positive attention, and to feel safe. Some of our animals only need to spend a week or less at the ECPR facility before charming their future adopters and finding a forever home. Other animals take much longer to find their forever home. This could be because of age or health reasons, behavioral issues, or just plain bad luck. There have been plenty of time where I have wondered with bafflement why one of our animals is still here.

Our foster families provide such a wonderful opportunity for our animals to get a taste of home before they truly find their forever home. Sometimes, the foster homes are just great sanctuaries for our older dogs or cats. Often times, people want to adopt puppies or kittens, so the older guys may need a little extra time to find that perfect someone excited to invite an elderly animal into their home permanently. The foster home can give an animal with health issues a place to recover before the next step of finding their forever home. Sometimes, the time spent with a foster gives a dog or cat the tools or individualized training an animal needs to overcome behavioral issues setting them back. A lot of times the ‘behavioral issues’ the animal is experiencing is nothing more than a bout of shyness. A foster home can give that animal the extra boost of confidence they need to enter their next meet and greet with excitement instead of fear. Sometimes, finding a foster home is just that first turn in luck a dog or cat needs as they continue on their journey in finding a forever home.

Animals in foster homes get new adventures, more opportunities to socialize and the joy of experiencing a home environment. All of our animals deserve to take as much time as they need to find their forever home. Fosters help us accomplish this. At Emerald City Pet Rescue, we really appreciate everything our fosters do for us and our animals!

DailyECPR: Wonderful Rufus!

Since working at Emerald City Pet Rescue, I have met many inspiring animals. Despite various adversities, these animals manage to still go through life with enthusiasm and joy. Rufus is definitely one of these inspiring animals. He lost the use of his back legs, which would be a difficult thing for anyone, but especially for a little pooch who is so obviously full of energy. Rufus loves to frolic, it is how he expresses his exuberance for life. So to have his movement stifled was a very sad thing. Luckily, Rufus just got a brand new wheelchair.

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Rufus has a very ‘go-with-the-flow’ personality, so as staff fussed with him and fitted him for his new chair, he went along with it, not knowing the freedom he was about to enjoy. As soon as he was properly sized for his chair, he was off like a rocket ship, wheeling himself though the playroom, ready to explore and investigate everything!

We had some concerns about how he would do in the playroom. Would the other dogs accept him? But the other dogs did not bat an eye as Rufus rolled around with them. He was easily accepted as a member of the ECPR doggy crew. It helps that many of our dogs have already met a dog in a wheelchair. Little hero Tanner was an ECPR dog before wooing the heart of staff member and foster failure Lucy. Sometimes, Tanner still comes to work with Lucy, so many of the dogs know Tanner even though he was adopted a while ago. Tanner and Rufus have not yet met, but when they do it will be exciting day! It is not just the wheelchair that these two dogs have in common. They share their resilience, their love for people friends, their sweetness, and their absolutely charismatic personalities. Little Tanner even has his own Instagram. Follow him here: @wieneronwheels

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One of the many things that I love about Rufus, is that he always seems to be smiling. There are few things more charming then a doggy smile. Rufus loves to greet new friends. Whenever someone walks into the playroom, Rufus speedily rolls toward them and politely asks for cuddles. Little Rufus is very playful, and now that he has his snazzy new wheels, he can get out and play with the best of them.

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Rufus likes to take walks too. I was very excited to take him on a walk after he got his brand new wheelchair. I just knew he would have an absolute blast!

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Well, I was wrong. One of the few things Rufus does not like is rain. Rufus and I ventured out on a cool and rainy day and even with his stylish raincoat, Rufus was not having it. He stared into the distance with a troubled look on his face. There was an expression of anxious resistance in his normally cheer filled eyes.  He stayed as close to the sides of buildings as possible during the walk, trying to avoid the rain as it plummeted down. Well, all the ECPR dogs have me wrapped around their cute little paws especially Rufus whose paws are especially cute. I gave in and we turned around after only a very short distance. Rufus would have all the time in the world to take sunny day walks in his new wheelchair.

Like I mentioned earlier in this post, the animals at ECPR are constantly inspiring me.

We use to have an itty-bitty Chihuahua named Binty who would sometimes get picked on by a much larger dog. Instead of cowering, Binty would snap at the big dog, confidently telling him to back off! Little Binty didn’t let his vulnerable size get in the way of standing up for himself.

We had a beautiful Siamese cat named Asia who was so frightened when she arrived she refused to let any of us touch her. I can’t say she was a lap cat by the end of her time at ECPR, but she took many brave steps. She slowly began to trust us, even coming to us for cuddles. I know it took a lot of courage for Asia to let us pet her. The first time Asia let me scratch her head, it felt like the ultimate compliment.

We had a 13 year old bichon named Bentley who came to us with his bonded pair. But his bonded pair passed away. Everyone was sad by her passing, but it was obvious that Bentley was the saddest of us all. But eventually, he began to find cheer in life again. One way he did this was by befriending other ECPR dogs. He seemed to have a talent for befriending dogs who needed his friendship the most. We had a very tentative, fearful dog named Doodles who got picked on. Bentley befriended him even though Doodles was a bit of an outcast. Soon, Doodles gained more confidence with his buddy Bentley by his side. Eventually, the other dogs began to accept Doodles too. Doodles transformation to a more confident and happy dog all started with Bentley’s generous and loving spirit

Our ECPR animals are always showing us humans that you can overcome limitations, that you can gain the bravery needed to triumph over fears and that you can find beauty in the world even after hardship. Rufus will always be one of those dogs I will think of when I am having a bad day and need a little encouragement. Rufus with his shinning personality, his adorable bushy-eyebrowed face and his love for movement can make any day brighter.

If you are interested in adopting wonderful Rufus, check out his petfinder profile here and call Emerald City Pet Rescue at (206) 557-4661 to set up a meet and greet.

DailyECPR: Barn Day!

In this dailyECPR post, we are going to travel back in time to a day that actually happened a couple of months ago. It was a wonderful day for the ECPR staff…. it was barn day! Our founder, Vivian Goldbloom does not just rescue cats and dogs, she rescues farm animals too. The staff members from our main building are accustomed to days spent with lovable pooches, felines and bunnies, but  interacting with the barn animals offered a whole new range of delights.

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The horses are rescued from a horrible fate of being slaughtered for meat. Although eating horses is not legal in America, in other countries this awful practice is still allowed. Just looking into a horses eyes, you can see they are gentle-hearted and intelligent creatures. They are animals that deserve our respect and admiration. Our ECPR horses, once destined for a horrific fate now enjoy the life of love and joy they deserve.

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At Emerald City Pet Rescue, it is not uncommon for a dog or cat and human staff members to just instantly click. Sometimes, you meet an animal, an animal meets you and you guys just get each other. An immediate friendship is formed. This happened during barn day with the horses. Look at Ellis here with his new found horse friend.

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It is obvious by Ellis’s expression of awe that he has true admiration for the beautiful creature before him. His new horse friend has a mutual liking for Ellis. The way she gingerly nibbles the carrot is just adorable!

During our visit to the barn, admin supervisor Vanessa also formed a lasting friendship with utterly charming Sahara!

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Sahara has a lovable, mischievous steak that is easy to detect upon meeting her. Her cute horse mannerisms and the twinkle in her eye make me suspicious that she is quite aware of the effect her adorableness has on humans. After befriending Vanessa, Sahara showed off one of her amazing skills: Sahara knows how to smile! She lifts up her gums and shows of her pearly whites!

Horses are not the only rescued barn animals we have at Emerald City Pet Rescue. We also have two other precious hoofed creatures: Marshmallow, a fluffy white mini-donkey and Damon, a black goat with white on his muzzle. Donkeys are cute and goats are cute but what is even cuter is a donkey and goat who are pals! Not only are these two cuties friends, they are roommates. They share a paddock at the barn. I imagine them staying up late, philosophizing about life together in the safety of their warm barn room.

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Marshmallow loves to get cuddles. He made sure to position himself in close proximity to as many hands as possible. We all obliged to Marshmallow’s wishes and joyful cuddles were had by all.

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Damon has other methods of gaining attention. Damon is a little comedian! He sent us all into a storm of laughter when he jumped into a hay bin! This little guy is a genius of physical comedy.

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It was a great experience to see a different side of Emerald City Pet Rescue. The barn has it’s own staff of passionate animal lovers who spend their days tending to the hoofed animals while we care for the pawed animals. Even though the barn animals and animals at our main facility are in different locations, they are all part of the Emerald City Pet Rescue family. This means they will always be cared for, loved and protected.

DailyECPR : Farewell, Charlie :(

WP_20151103_016Although we treasure the moments when we rescue a pet and have the privilege of seeing him or her through the journey to their new, forever happy home, sometimes we have to make difficult decisions in the best interest of their health and happiness.

Charlie the chug unfortunately had to be treated for heartworm, and although we did everything we could for this sweet boy, the disease was so far advanced that his heart was irreparably damaged. Charlie loved to be excited and exuberant, and that very awesome aspect of his personality unfortunately only aggravated his heart problems further. He was not able to live a quality life and in the end, we realized we had to do the right thing by this precious guy and let him go.

We want to give a special thanks to the wonderful staff at VCA Magnolia for helping Charlie through this difficult time and for holding his paw and being there with him as he took his journey. He was surrounded by his favorite people as he peacefully passed. He was loved by them, and he loved them back.

WP_20151103_005Making decisions like this is never easy. We grieve for Charlie, but he touched our lives in a way that can never be erased and his paw-prints will live on with us for a very long time. Goodbye, little fellow. Thank you for giving us the privilege of getting to know you, and thank you for being brave, strong, and for loving unconditionally. You will always be a part of ECPR and all of the lives you impacted and changed. <3.